Whilst it’s important to reflect, it’s much more vital to bounce forward than back and whilst I personally struggle to dwell on the pain of the Pandemic, as the new blooms spring I am reminded of how beautiful life can be when our simple basic needs have been met.
For that I am grateful to look back to pre-Pandemic times without the superficial rose-tinted glasses we tend to adorn to appreciate our basic physiological needs of food, shelter and sleep because two years ago I walked into a ‘housing needs’ office as I feared homelessness. And yet here I am today, safe inside a new home with my daughters, a good community of people around me who have helped me to rebuild my life and career, albeit virtually for now, and I am fortunate to now focus on growth/personal development.
I cowered my head and walked into the grim building tucked away on a side street. Sat behind a glass screen with a support worker by my side, I sobbed as I explained to the woman protected from me at the other side of the screen that I had nowhere to move into with my two young daughters within weeks.
I had been waiting since the doors opened of her office as I wasn’t allowed to book an appointment at the homeless service to seek a solution, it was a waiting game.
This was pre-Pandemic the screen wasn’t for shielding germs (other than the spit that may have been hurled at them at some point), I assumed it was to protect staff from the emotional distress, the violent outbursts or perhaps just the ‘difficult’ people like me that sat before them?
But no glass screen could hide the tortured pain on my face trying to explain the situation I had suddenly found myself in.
Fast track to today where I feel in a parallel universe from having no home to spending most of my time in my home bubble, thankfully still in my familiar Yorkshire locality, I realise just how resilient I am but also how grateful I am to now not only have had my basic needs met but an abundance of opportunity has come out of a challenging situation.
Granted, that was just one of my many turning point life lessons and there are many more people much worse off than I was, with much less support than I had.
FACING HOMELESSNESS: Overcoming ‘shame’ to bounce forward
But I share this snippet of my story because on my CV and online I was blossoming at the time and we mainly hear of rag to riches stories. We consume stories with a protagonist who struggles at the start, has to overcome a huge hurdle and then there is a happy ending.
It’s why we love the hope and escapism of Reality TV, we love the dream that one day overnight things will transform for the better. Yes, that can happen but also things can come crashing down which is why we need to build strength to feel at home within ourselves and reach out to the incredible community networks around us, rather than become debilitated by shame as I had been originally.
Crisis doesn’t create community it reveals it.
That’s why I am grateful for grassroots newspapers such as this that has a deep ingrained love and involvement with the community it represents and gives a platform for a spectrum of diverse voices and journalists like myself, as well as, celebrating all the incredible community work carried out within it.
It is through overcoming adversity at times with such support that I am personally growing as a person and now able to now give a glimmer of hope to others, which is the theme of Lent for us as we spring forward into Easter.
Our failures are our stepping stones to success, @mamameiblog
Read more: https://mamamei.co.uk